39 Essex Street has elected Neil Block QC as its joint head of chambers, replacing counsel to the Leveson Inquiry Robert Jay QC after he was appointed to the High Court bench.
Block, who was called to the bar in 1980 and took silk in 2002, will share the role with co-head of chambers Stephen Tromans QC.
In November last year 39 Essex Street was joined by 24 members of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, including seven silks. The Lawyer first revealed that the set was in talks with up to 30 barristers earlier that month (9 November 2012). Sources said that initially the set had planned to take between 25 and 30 members from the 56-member 4-5 Gray’s Inn.
The union took the number of barristers at 39 Essex Street to 118, with 37 QCs, making it the largest London-headquartered set ahead of One Crown Office Row, which has 110 members, including 22 silks.
In June last year The Lawyer also revealed that 39 Essex Street had put in place plans to launch a base in Singapore, its first foray into overseas markets (26 June 2012). The set also has offices in London and Manchester.